State of Our Watersheds

The fifth edition of the Northwest Treaty Tribes’ State of Our Watersheds Report is now available as a PDF to download in its entirety (46 MB) or by individual chapters. The 2020 State of Our Watersheds Interactive Viewer also is available.

The State of Our Watersheds Report (SOW) from the 20 treaty tribes in western Washington is broken down by regions and tribal areas of interest. Each tribe identifies different indicators and special topics as a priority for their region that directly tie to the region’s environmental health. The report also includes an analysis of regional indicators for both the Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast regions.

Overall, the results are mixed, with little change in most indicators. Highlights include the increased number of restoration projects completed by the tribes and their partners, and the state reporting a decrease in the overall amount of marine shoreline armoring.

“The 2020 State of Our Watersheds Report documents environmental conditions and tracks trends to hold us all accountable to the need for urgent action to protect our region’s watersheds and their habitats,” said Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. “We know the status quo isn’t working when it comes to salmon recovery. We know what the science says needs to be done. We know that we must move forward together to address habitat because it is the most important action we can take to recover salmon.”

A consistent trend identified in the 2020 State of Our Watersheds Report is that key habitat features, such as riparian vegetation, habitat connectivity and streamflows, continue to be imperiled by human activities. This extensive loss and degradation of habitat, changing climate and ocean conditions threaten salmon, tribal cultures and tribal treaty-reserved rights, wildlife habitat, water quality and western Washington’s economy and quality of life.

The principal findings in this report illustrate this alarming trend, but the descriptions contained within each tribe’s watershed review provide the most accurate depiction of the habitat issues each tribe faces

For a more in-depth summary, read “2020 State of Our Watersheds: More Restoration Projects, Less Shoreline Armoring”  at

The 2012 and 2016 State of Our Watersheds Viewers will remain available.

Contact Bruce Jones, SSHIAP Section Manager (), for more information.